Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

My feature story from Turkey about the rising Islamist movements in that country was highlighted as one of the 15 Worldfocus Signature stories most popular with viewers in 2009. This story aired on Worldfocus in October 2009 and February 2010.

Published on the website of the international news program Worldfocus on PBS.

Gizem Yarbil, an associate producer at Worldfocus who grew up in Turkey, writes about the significance of the alleged military plot in that country.

Turkey has been rattled by the news this week that about 50 military commanders were detained for allegedly planning a coup to overthrow the democratically elected Islamic-leaning government.

The commanders are accused of “attempting to remove the government through force and violence” in a supposed plot codenamed “Sledgehammer.” Alleged tactics include planting bombs at mosques and shooting down a Turkish warplane, with the ultimate goal of causing so much chaos and disruption that the military would need to step in and take control.

The military denies all allegations.

The Turkish military, which is generally seen as a bastion of secularism, has overthrown governments four times in the past, most recently in 1997, when it ousted an Islamist Prime Minister. Still, the crackdown is unprecedented in a country in which the military is regarded by many as untouchable. Read the rest of the article on the Worldfocus website.

Published on the website of the international news program Worldfocus on PBS.

Gizem Yarbil, an associate producer at Worldfocus who grew up in Turkey, argues Turkish immigrants may cling even more strongly to their customs– including honor killings– when faced with the difficulties of life in the West.

The first honor killing story I delved into as a journalist was of a Turkish girl from Germany.

Hatun Surucu was 23 years old when her youngest brother shot her at a bus stop in Berlin in 2005. She was training to be an electrician and she had a son.

She was born in Germany to Kurdish parents who had migrated to the country from Turkey. From the day she was born, she was confined to a secluded lifestyle under the strict scrutiny of her parents and her brothers. When Hatun was 16, she was married to her cousin in Turkey in an arranged marriage. She moved to a village in Turkey and had her son when she was 18. When Hatun decided to leave her marriage and moved back to Berlin, she knew she couldn’t return to her family home. She took refuge in a women’s shelter, got rid of her head scarf and started to rebuild her and her son’s life.

Hatun’s new western lifestyle was deemed dishonorable by her family. They decided she was bringing a bad name to the family so she had to be killed.

Read the rest of the article on the Worldfocus website.

Published on the website of the international news program Worldfocus on PBS

Born in Turkey, Worldfocus producer Gizem Yarbil recently reported, along with Bryan Myers, the Signature video Turkey’s Kurds Seek Justice for Unsolved Murders.

On the morning of Christmas Eve, Turkey woke up to a newspaper photo of a line of handcuffed Kurds in detention. Among them were several prominent Kurdish elected officials and human rights advocates.

On the same day, in early morning raids conducted in eleven cities in the southeast of the country, Turkish police arrested dozens of members of the recently banned Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), including at least seven local mayors and other politicians. Their alleged crime was to be part of a civil and urban network of the militant separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Read the rest of the article on the Worldfocus website.

Published on the website of the international news program Worldfocus on PBS

Gizem Yarbil is a producer at Worldfocus and recently reported, along with Bryan Myers, the Worldfocus signature video Turkey’s Kurds Seek Justice for Unsolved Murders. Gizem grew up in Turkey and writes of her experiences covering the story of Kurdish grievances, which remain a polarizing political issue in Turkey.

It was a blistering morning in early June and we were driving in the southeast of Turkey. Worldfocus producer Bryan Myers and I were traveling to Diyarbakir for a story about the Kurds and the latest developments in their often tragic plight.

We had already shot and produced two stories around Turkey, but this one was especially important for me. Surrounded by golden fields that were illuminated by the scorching southeast sun, I was traveling to a region, which, up until a few years ago, was a no-go area in my country.

Read the rest of this blog on the Worldfocus website.

This feature story aired on the international news program Worldfocus on PBS.

Correspondent Gizem Yarbil and producer Bryan Myers recently traveled to the Kurdish enclave of Diyarbakir in eastern Turkey for a closer look at the allegations that the Turkish government had engaged in a so-called “dirty war” against the Kurds.

Turkey’s longstanding conflict between ethnic Kurdish minority and the Turkish government flared this weekend after demonstrations erupted when the high court outlawed the main Kurdish political party.

The Kurds see themselves as an oppressed minority, while the Turkish government sees many of them as dangerous separatists.

Published on the website of the international news program Worldfocus on PBS.

Worldfocus producer Gizem Yarbil interviews Neil Grungras of ORAM, a not-for-profit organization providing legal assistance for refugees fleeing sexual or gender based violence. He describes the difficulties faced by gay, lesbian and transgender refugees who often flee persecution only to find continuing harassment while in transit.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) refugees are among the most vulnerable refugee groups in the world today, according to Neil Grungras, the executive director of Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration (ORAM).

Read the rest of the article on the Worldfocus website.